Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sensational Ipsos-Mori poll confirms that Remain's lead in telephone polling has dropped sharply

As you might remember, I had difficulty knowing what to make of the ORB telephone poll showing Leave in the lead, and the succession of ComRes telephone polls showing the Remain lead had slumped, because until now Ipsos-Mori's phone polling had failed to show any significant change.  That is no longer the case.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Remain 49% (-5)
Leave 41% (+5)

There have been some methodological tweaks since the last poll, so technically there's the possibility that the percentage changes listed above are not meaningful.  But in actual fact, one of the changes has worked in favour of Remain, not Leave.  If Ipsos-Mori hadn't introduced a 'squeeze' (an extra question pressing Don't Knows on how they're most inclined to vote) the Remain lead would be down to just six points.

What I find most extraordinary of all, though, is the revelation that if Ipsos-Mori had used the turnout-adjusted model which takes account of the polling errors at last year's general election, the Remain lead would have stood at just TWO points, essentially eliminating the previously huge divergence between telephone and online polling.  That flatly contradicts what we saw a few days ago from ComRes, who gave comfort to pro-European commentators by noting that their own turnout-adjusted model would have increased the Remain lead from seven points to fourteen (over the months, the ComRes model would have consistently boosted Remain).  I think all we can really say is that the pollsters have yet to reach a consensus on the correct lessons of last year's disaster - which may be just as well, because it was a self-reinforcing consensus that partly caused the problem in the first place.

The big health warning on today's poll is that the vast bulk of the fieldwork was carried out before the Brussels attacks.  The sole post-Brussels poll to date was an online ICM poll, which seemed to show a swing back to Remain, although as it's only one poll, the jury is still out on whether that was a real shift in opinion or an illusion caused by normal sampling variation.  On the headline numbers, Remain moved from being two points behind to take a lead of two points - but if it hadn't been for the introduction of a turnout filter, it would have been a five-point Remain lead (actually more like four points without a distortion caused by rounding).  On a like-for-like comparison, that's Remain's best showing in an ICM poll for many weeks, although admittedly it's still comfortably within the longer-term 'normal range' for the firm.

*  *  *


The increase in the Remain lead in this update of the Poll of Polls is misleading - it's mostly caused by the quirk of the Leave-friendly ORB poll making up half of the telephone sample in the last update.


Remain 44.1% (-0.1)
Leave 40.4% (-2.2)


Remain 40.6% (-0.3)
Leave 39.3% (-0.8)


Remain 47.5% (n/c)
Leave 41.5% (-3.5)

(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last month. The online average is based on nine polls - five from ICM, three from YouGov and and one from TNS. The telephone average is based on four polls - one from ComRes, one from Ipsos-Mori, one from ORB and one from Survation.)


  1. Can we expect an STV Poll before their snooze debate in relation to Holyrood Election?

  2. I doubt if there will be large turnout compared to the Scots Referendum or the Westminster General Election. Maybe in mid June interest will pick up.

    1. The 1975 referendum had a 65% turnout, which would be respectable enough by present day standards, but was about ten points lower than the norm for general elections back then. If that's any guide, we might end up with a turnout in the 50s - although if the race looks tight, it might encourage more people to vote.

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 7:02 PM

      The stay in mob will have to rally their troops because the people who want out know the EU is corrupt and some poiticians who are MEP'S will be shiting thenselves if the gravy train ends. I campaigned with the T&G get out 1975 and would do so again if I was able. I have never helped labour in any EU campaign.

    3. Polls suggest Scotland will turn out in big numbers to vote Remain. Latest Survation had 10/10 73% certain to vote with 87% 8-10. Could be a Scottish iref type turnout, firmly securing Scotland's place in the EU.

    4. Actual question from outsider here. Isn't most of any level of government , perhaps outside local councillors you personally know, generally viewed as corrupt or incompetent or both? So rationally, how does a person anywhere on the political. spectrum rationalise these hierarchy questions. Local council incompetent, English government corrupt whores who will do anything for money or titles, UK ? Well, scrap those bastards! Or is that great Britain? Sorry, got confused! Which corrupt level we distrust includes the part of Ireland that votes with my side and the parts of Scotland and Wales that vote their way? Is the West country still Wales? I only want the part with moms who moved from London . no, I hate them , their corrupt too. I mean really , does anybody think a torie elected to the eu is corrupt but their local is honest. Etc. Just move the titles around. Where to put a train station? Fun ensues!

  3. Maybe the SNP should have proposed an 'OUT' verdict to be voted on by at least 40% of the electorate?

  4. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Skier, why would the Scots turn out in great numbers to vote to remain in a corrupt institution? Could it be Scots are comfortable and immune to corruption in politics.

    1. Okay. You chose not to answer my question, then you attacked on the same point. Answer it now for your side. Are are you actually saying that only a torie rep is honest everywhere, then suddenly not if at the eu.? Is it the lack of English sausage at breakfast that corrupts them?

    2. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 8:44 PM

      I said the EU is corrupt and it has been proven. When did they last balance the books! Corrupt Tories, Labour or Nat si is not the issue. Pouring billions of British taxpayers money into a pit outside Britain is the issue.
      It was only supposed to be a trade agreement but you may be too young to recall that.

    3. Good question GWC2. I don't know why 55% voted No in 2014.

    4. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 11:05 PM

      It would be impractical to personally ask over 2 million people why they voted unless you have time on hand!
      I am sure not all nat sis wish to remain in the EU but they will toe the Stalinist line and keep their mouths shut.

    5. (sounds the Kipper bootlick Klaxon)

  5. Your headline is not sensational enough.
    Suggest "Sensational Ipsos-Mori telephone poll confirms sharp drop in Remain's lead"

    PS love the new hysterical headlines!!

  6. Survation’s pensioner Holyrood poll tables are out. In the age band crossbreaks, variations are as one might have expected.

    Constituency VI by age bands 60-64 : 65-74 : 75+

    SNP – 52% : 39% : 33%
    Lab – 22% : 18% : 14%
    Con – 17% : 33% : 43%
    LD – 4% : 7% : 7%

    List VI

    SNP – 45% : 35% : 35%
    Lab – 18% : 20% : 11%
    Con – 16% : 32% : 43%
    LD – 8% : 7% : 5%
    Grn – 7% : 4% : 2%
    UKIP – 6% : 2% : 4%

    1. It seems that the over 75's are rather more Conservative that the other age groups. Could it be the ones without access to the digital age would be more inclined to support Labour or SNP as from personal experience many of the pensioners over 75 don't have the internet or mobile phones, assuming that this new an internet poll. Perhaps the more wealthy pensioners would have internet access.

    2. Interesting {and worrying } is the closeness in voting intentions in both constituency and list between the SNP and Tories in my age group {65-74}

    3. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 10:55 PM

      Whats the difference between them?

    4. Marcia
      There's also the demographic difference by age - men and poorer folk die younger

      I suspect that there is a gradient in that middle group. 65 yr olds nearer the 60-64 profile while 74 yr olds nearer the oldies. Would be interesting to see the pattern within the 75+ group as well.

  7. Glasgow Working Class 2March 29, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    Apparantly the British including the Nat sis have to negotiate with the EU to take over our steel industry. The Joke Nat sis want to pay taxpayers money to save our plants and then hand them over to privateers.
    Where have all the Nat si lefties gone???? They are so silent.

    1. (sounds the Nazi obsessed screeching Yoon Klaxon)